I get asked a lot of questions about blogs. So I thought I’d take a few moments to talk about Blogs and to try to explain why I believe your business needs one.
Some points I’d like to make before I present five reasons your company needs a business blog.
- Every day, I speak with clients and prospective clients.
- Most days, we speak about blogs.
- Many customers don’t understand the point of blogs.
- Many customers don’t read blogs.
- Some customers refuse to start a blog.
What is a blog anyway?
A ‘blog’ or weblog is two things.
1) A special news section of a website. Whether it is by an individual or a business.
2) An online Journal. where the user or a group of users can collaborate to curate information on topics that they like.
One of the points that clients make to me the most is that they “don’t see the point of writing a blog“.
Five reasons to start your business blog
1) You should be writing a blog without being compelled to. Why? Because if you have a business, it can provide a written record of your achievements and day to day operations. This is valuable learning material for both you and your staff.
2) Writing a business blog demonstrates your openness and transparency. Many businesses think in the “old school” way, keeping all their knowledge a secret. What does that do for you in todays knowledge based society, except make you look like a paranoid curmudgeon? You don’t have to share everything that you know, just the core principles of your good practice and your success stories. Your clients want to know you and they want to trust you.
3) Writing a business blog will help you make a mark in the world. Think ‘Brand Identity’. We live in an age where small brands can develop themselves online in a way that they never could before the broadband revolution. Pop Stars have been discovered online by creating simple myspace pages. Comedians, film makers, singers and actors have all launched careers via Youtube. They put in the work to create valuable content and then they worked hard to market that content through their blogs.
4) A business blog, can provide real value for your customers and potential customers. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in your subject area. You should be passionate about your business, so whether you sell bathrooms or sport’s equipment, there must be a reason why you think your business is better than your competitors. So “work your USP” and demonstrate the same passion that got you into your business in the first place.
5) This point is the killer. A business blog is going to be essential if you want your website to rank better in the search engines. By creating, plenty of high quality, relevant content you can start to attract quality links as well as demonstrate to the search engines that you have a wealth of relevant information to offer searchers. Furthermore, once you establish a following people will use your blog to provide product background before making purchases.
Marketing your business takes Work
The world of SEO is changing dramatically. In 2012 we saw Google roll out its biggest changes to the way that it ranks websites. The Panda and Penguin updates meant that many websites suffered dramatic changes in their rankings. Panda affected websites that had “thin content” ie little or no useful on page information. Penguin affected sites that used underhand tactics to rank, and those that used what Google saw as spammy link building strategies in order to create an image of credibility.
So now that simply linking to as many websites as you possibly can, regardless of content or relevance is off the table, how can you convince Google and the other search engines that you are relevant to what users are searching for?
Business blogs can add quality content
Create quality content. Quality content will, overtime, by its very nature, attract links. These links are links to your domain (web address) . The type of people and businesses linking to your quality content are most likely to be sites that are relevant. People and businesses who found value in your offerings and those who regard you as a relevant expert.
Can I just say at this point, you will still need to promote your content, and you will still have to create your blog posts in a way that they pass value back to your product pages or content pages. You need to share your content on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linked in and any others you favour.
What happens if I don’t add a blog?
Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. Lot’s of companies are reluctant to start blogging. Here is a list of excuses people give me for NOT starting a blog.
“I haven’t got the time.”
Really? We are all busy people. Yet for me this excuse doesn’t wash. What is more important than promoting the business you slaved to build? It’s not messing around on holiday, it’s not watching TV soaps or X factor. You dont have to blog every night, but promoting your brand will take time and effort that’s why I’m still writing this article at 11.40pm.
“It’s Impossible to make the topic interesting.”
Nonsense, utter nonsense. You make or sell something that is of use to someone, otherwise you would be out of business. That means someone or some niché is interested in your opinion and expertise.
“Our client base isn’t interested in reading blogs.”
Says who? I’d accept this argument if it was based on data from a detailed client survey based on statistics. In the past there has been a tendency to churn out blogs focusing on “buy this” or “buy that”. I’m not talking about creating junk articles, I’m talking about adding real value.
“I can’t afford the investment.”
There are some businesses who invest very little time in and effort in Marketing. They do their business by word of mouth. This is fine. Yet, even this type of business has more power if they have an effective up to date online presence. By engaging with their client base they build trust, but not just trust between client and business, public endorsement. This public endorsement is worth something.
All businesses can benefit from a having a blog
Carpenters and plumbers pay money week in week out, for ads in the local paper. Why spend all that money on a dying medium, when you should be thinking about reinvesting in an area that you can input to and impact for a fraction of the costs long term. You can save money by doing some of the work in-house. Or you could invest in some professional help at least until you feel more confident to go it alone.
Big brands can get away without adding a blog. Google needs major brands in it’s index, so the chances are, household names will always rank. Without them the Google index would be incomplete.
However, ask yourself, Is your brand a major brand? Does Google NEED to list your website? The answer is most probably no. Given that stark reality, are you really going to leave it to chance?
Will you wait until your sales or leads simply dry up one day before thinking, hey, what happened? Or are you going to talke action now, by getting ahead of your nearest competition and creating the best content you can? What happens if your nearest competitors get ahead of you and create 10, 20 blogs before you even get started? Take action, before it’s too late.
Remember the more relevant indexed content you have in Google, the more likely you are to rank.
Of course this article provides a very simplistic overview of the benefits a business blog can bring to your website. And, it’s the first of many articles I plan to write on the subject of promoting your business online. If you’d like to know a little more about the benefits of a business blog then please leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help you find the right solution to help you get started.
For more web Marketing tips Follow on Twitter @seozero1 to get more introductory tips on marketing your business online.
Previously he worked in Education as an ICT Trainer delivering I.C.T / Audio/Visual solutions for Education and Business. Connect with Phil on Social
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